Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Snowpiercer – 2014

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The announcement of Chris Evans quitting the acting business in favour for directorial aspirations is disappointing and incredibly upsetting after watching him in “Snowpiercer”.
Not only is this his finest work to date, it may just be one of the finest films of the year.
From Joon-ho Bong, director of “The Host” and “Mother”, comes his most outstanding work as a director and visionary. “Snowpiercer” is one of the most original and engrossing films of not just 2014, but the last half of a decade.

Set in the future, in a world that ceases to exist, a train carries every living human being on earth and travels around the endless landscapes of the now frozen planet.
Coming as a result of meddling with global warming, the frozen world is unrelenting, harsh and uninhabitable for life; therefore, the train, complete with energy and supplies is now the world that most of these survivors know.
The train is not a peaceful one; it, like any society, has a class system, and a harsh one at that. Those who live towards the front of the train are accustomed to a life of luxury whilst those who occupy the back carriages live in the equivalent of poverty.
Polar opposites, the two regions rarely come into contact with one another, but it is with the courage and desperation of Curtis (Chris Evans) that things begin to change.

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The idea is incredibly original and diverse, even though the narrative is confined to a bunch of connected carriages. The elements and themes that the film explores are triumphant and supremely impressive.
Areas such as politics, class, media, food, wealth, oppression, rebellion and of course power are just a handful of thematic categories “Snowpiercer” analyses. The journey is intense plus the performance of Chris Evans is so incredibly heartbreaking, it can at times be truly unbearable. Evans shows some incredible talent through Curtis, evoking so much sympathy, all the while travelling through a gargantuan charter ark that shows a vast lost of emotions.

The music, the camerawork, the dampened colour pallet and the CGI effects are superb. Musically, “Snowpiercer” is haunting; the score is so fitting for the film. It is mechanical, maniacal and memorable to say the least.
At certain moments throughout the film, the score begins to sound more and more like the train itself, whilst on the flip side, there are some action sequences that completely lack music at all, adding yet another dramatic element to the film.
Some of the shots that have been captured are phenomenal. The use of lighting in a predominately darkened world is achieved without fault.
As the journey progresses on and on, the setting begins to get subtly more illuminated, but in such a stylistic way, that it represents so much as far as narrative and the deeper picture are concerned.

snowpiercer (1)The computer generated scenery is mostly above average, yet nothing spectacular; having said that, it achieves enough for it not to matter. Some outside shots from within the confined and chaotic train stand for so much and again, work ever so well. 

Harsh, menacing and deadly but open, enticing and free – the landscape has a mystical aura about it, even though it appears so familiar to us.

With a perfect cast all round that includes incredible performances from Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Kang-ho Song, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremmer and the man himself Chris Evans, “Snowpiercer” is brought to life stunningly well.
Engaging from the first frame, “Snowpiercer” grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go until the credits are finished. The only factor that doesn’t grant it the perfect score is some lousy edits that are scattered throughout the film.
Apart from that, “Snowpiercer” is such a powerful, passionate and original piece that is splendid in almost every way possible.

This is a must see epic that will absolutely be in the top 5 films of the year, no question!

4.5/5

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